Iron is an integral component of many proteins and enzymes that maintain good health and wellbeing. You must always ensure you take in sufficient amounts of iron-rich foods in your diet.
Excess amounts of iron can result in toxicity and even death, so it important to see your doctor for a firm diagnosis of iron deficiency before simply supplementing with iron tablets.
Keen gym-goers will deplete their iron stores much faster than their less physically active counterparts sweat & the digestive tract, putting them at greater risk of deficiency and decreased endurance.
Insufficient iron stores lead to a shortage of oxygen being delivered to the muscles during exercise. This means that those with low iron levels will have a much harder time sustaining their workout and will rapidly run out of energy. Watch out for signs of weakness, lethargy, dizziness and heart palpitations and see your GP if you are concerned or feel unwell.
Poor dietary choices are the cause of most cases of iron deficiency. Try boosting your intake by including more lean red meat, poultry, shellfish, lentils, leafy greens (such as spinach and broccoli), almonds and iron-fortified cereals in your diet.
By combining these iron-rich foods with a source of vitamin C (such as orange juice) and avoiding milk, tea and coffee while you eat, you will further optimise iron absorption.
© Sarah West Nutrition